Halifax gets awfully cold in the winter, and even during the summer it’s a windy, seafaring city. So, it’s no surprise that decent coffee and tea are usually close at hand. Here are three welcoming spots to help fight off that damp Nova Scotian chill.
Alteregos is an art-filled, book-lined café in the North End serving organic fair-trade coffee plus tea, baked goods, and some fresh vegetarian fare. It’s exactly the sort of funky, laid back place that’s so rare these days; thankfully Starbucks isn’t as prevalent in Halifax as it could be. Alteregos is connected to the friendly Halifax Backpackers Hostel and they often host live music at night.
Uncommon Grounds is a small Halifax chain that roasts its beans locally in small batches (their signature blend is the Fog Burner). They also offer soups and sandwiches, and their baked goods are made fresh in-house. The seating at the South Park Street location is ideal: couches, comfy chairs, and a few games invite you to hang for a good while in this warm, half-basement hideout.
Humani-T, just across from the Public Gardens, is known for homemade gelato, but they’re also way into loose-leaf tea. They have a wall full of red, green, black, and herbal varieties, plus flowering teas that bloom in your cup, a Lawrencetown fog (a vanilla earl grey steamer), a Chai Coffsky (a musically named shot of espresso in a chai latte), and an Inka (chicory steamed with milk and honey). You might not expect to find chicory so far from New Orleans, but the two locales are linked: the French who settled in Nova Scotia in the 17th century were known as Acadians, and many later migrated down to New Orleans, where they eventually became Cajuns in their new home.
And if you’re lucky, at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market (est. 1750), you might bump into a booth where you can buy a single bright bag of saffron tea for just 50 cents.
Where’s your favorite coffee or tea in Halifax?